Encourage Honesty in Your Children: Here’s How to Do It!
One of the most valuable things you can teach your child is honesty. So how do you encourage this at home? Here are tips that may help you:
Demonstrate appreciation whenever they tell the truth.
If your child has done something wrong or disappointing but was honest about it, don’t neglect to show your appreciation for it. A simple “Thank you for telling me the truth. This will make it easier for us to fix this problem” can really reassure your child that good things come out of honesty.
Make sure to teach the importance of being honest.
One way to do this is through story-telling. During bedtime stories, for example, you can tell the tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. This story has a very clear lesson on how lying can harm you and hurt those around you, and this can be something you and your child can discuss so they have a better understanding.
Try to be gentle in coaxing them to tell the truth when you notice them lying.
It is best to refrain from using harsh tones of voice and an accusatory demeanor when confronting your child about a lie they told. Telling them that they are a liar can be harmful to your child’s esteem as well, who may still be developing their sense of identity. Instead, you can give them some space to back down from the lie by asking things like, “Are you sure that’s what happened?” or “Is that the truth?”
You can also gently tell them of the consequences of not telling the truth.
Look for changes that can be made so that your child doesn’t have to resort to lying.
As a parent, you should also think about the reason behind why your child decided to lie. Is it because the truth is embarrassing for them? Is it because they are looking for ways to gain attention or sympathy? Together with your young one, you can look at healthy ways to resolve these issues. These healthy resolutions can also be carried by your child outside of the home, such as in preschool.
Be a role model for honesty.
Being dishonest can be something that is learned from observing the behaviors of the parent, which a child can emulate in their own behavior. The best way to be a good role model for your child is to practice what you preach, whether or not your child can see you.